If you own a small business, you need to create a Facebook business page for your business rather than the more familiar Facebook profile. Facebook profiles are for sharing with family and friends whereas Facebook pages are for businesses.
What is a Facebook Business Page?
A business page will allow you to post information, photos, videos, have discussions, provide logistical information on your business, schedule and promote events, even link to on-line shopping as well as receive analytical information on your page.
No worries if you’ve created a profile instead as you can easily migrate to a business page, though you will lose some information such as metrics on your personal profile which can’t be transferred to your Facebook business page.
Should You Have a Facebook Business Page?
Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 2.32 billion users and 1.52 billion people logging on daily. Compared to other platforms, it is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack and definitely worth investigating further.
Despite the negative press of late, and the fact the younger generation is gravitating to other platforms, Facebook remains a key platform for a small business to engage in. The caveat of course is what your business goals are and who the audience for your product is. If you make a determination that Facebook is a fit for your business, there are some things to think about.
With the fallout from the Cambridge Analytical data scandal, Facebook implemented some major changes to its algorithm. It is prioritizing conversations (i.e., the social aspect) and that means businesses have little chance that their posts will be found organically by their followers. It means that they will need to pay for Facebook ads to extend their reach.
Are there Alternatives to Facebook Ads?
Before we look at Facebook Ads, are there some ways a business can try to get around Facebook Ads? These are some suggestions to try:
- Opt-in-Ask followers to opt-in to see your posts. By choosing “See First” in their News Feed, your new posts will appear in your followers feeds. However, the reality is your followers may not do this and there is no guarantee Facebook won’t change this sometime in the future.
- Video-Produce more video content. Facebook continues to prioritize video, particularly live-streamed video. For example, you could host a Q&A session with your followers using Facebook Live. You could record a video of a new product, your employers, customers or suppliers.
- Conversation-Because Facebook is focusing on content that promotes conversation and comments, the more a business engages in dialogue with its followers the better. However, Facebook is making a distinction between low and high value conversation. Asking your followers to like, share or comment on changes to your opening hours won’t help you much.
So where does this leave a small business owner trying to garner more business using Facebook?
While these are options to try, how effective they are going to be is difficult to determine. And, do you want to spend all this effort for something that may not net you results? Remember that Facebook has changed its algorithm to de-prioritize content from business pages. Some refer to it as the end of the gravy train. Businesses must now pay Facebook, with Facebook Ads, to be noticed.
Facebook is one of the top advertising channels online. Facebook Ads are easy to create and allow you to target your audience very precisely based on a variety of criteria. You can determine the amount you want to spend for the campaign as a whole or per day. The amount you spend on Facebook Ads is up to you, and comparatively speaking, is a low cost advertising method. Facebook provides excellent details on the promotions you run.
This article provides examples of how five businesses are using Facebook Ads.
Some Best Practices
Assuming Facebook makes sense for your business, what are some things you should be doing (i.e., best practices) to get the most out of your Facebook business page?
Your cover photo is prominent real estate on your Facebook page. Make the most of it. Ensure the photo is visually appealing, captures the values, culture and essence of your business. Change it out periodically. Consider including a video in your cover shot.
Another piece of valuable real estate on your Facebook page is the pinned post. Make it what you want the reader to see whether that is your key mission statement, your customer service ethic, a coming event, news about a new product or store opening, a sale, a business anniversary, a community endeavor, etc. In other words, don’t put something there and never change it. Pay attention to it. Make it work for you.
Use Facebook Messenger to respond to your customers as more and more customers prefer this as a method of communication over a phone call.
Content Publishing Tools
You can use tools with Facebook to publish your content or third-party tools such as Hootsuite. These tools will allow you to load up content and schedule it to be posted automatically. When you are in business, having a number of posts ready in advance and scheduled to be posted automatically will be very welcome.
Facebook Insights collects information on who “likes” your page. It is detailed information like age, gender, geographic location, income, interests, etc. Having this information is extremely helpful. When you know who your target audience is, you can gear your posts and your advertising directly to them.
There are a number of ways that you can send traffic to your website from your Facebook page. You can do this in the About section by inserting your web address. You can also have the Call to Action tabs direct users to your website. And, you can include your web address in all of your posts.
As you publish your blog posts, consider adding them to your Facebook page. How cool is that?
Facebook is unparalleled in terms of its use and reach. Because of the data Facebook has, Facebook Ads can be strategically targeted to the audience you want.
Have you tried a Facebook Ad? How successful was it? Do you have any Facebook best practices to share with other small business owners?
Facebook Business Page: So Long Organic Growth. Hello Facebook Ads. #smallbusiness https://bit.ly/2Djz1tZ
Facebook Business Page: So Long Organic Growth. Hello Facebook Ads. https://bit.ly/2Djz1tZ